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Topics - lloydsp

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Scripts and Plugin Help / For Andy, Python work
« on: July 05, 2020, 22:18:12 pm »
Andy, (or for that matter anyone else who might know the solution),

I'm making progress using Python as a post-build-processor language, but not quite.

I can execute such a script from either the command prompt (using python) or from a Windows command (using pythonw), and it runs fine, using the input file and creating an output file properly.

But when I attempt to execute it as a PBP, I get the following errors, and NO output (in fact, except for a delay I added to see that it had run, you'd think it hadn't run -- but it has):

External command c:\python27\pythonw c:\python27\ -i CBinput -o CBoutput
close failed in the object destructor
sys.excepthook is missing
lost sys stderr

Obviously, there's something missing in my execution or closing of Python that isn't a problem when using wscript to call a .vbs script.

Since we're fairly soon going to lose .VBS, I thought it would be a good idea to implement another 'scripted' language.

Any help will be appreciated.


Members Machines / Some help, please!
« on: June 20, 2020, 18:41:31 pm »
I almost-always mill either 6061 aluminum or PVC foam plastic, and I have my cutters optimized for that work.

But, occasionally, I must mill polyethylene or ABS, and my tools and speeds just don't work.  I just don't have any experience with the materials (except bad ones). 

Chips don't get ejected (even with full-flow coolant), they just make long strands that collect around my cutters, and make me pause the machine every minute or two to clear curls from the cutter.

Any advice?


Members Machines / Not shop machinery, but still 'shop equipment'
« on: June 06, 2020, 15:51:12 pm »
I recently had a lightning strike to a tree just outside my barn (hope it didn't kill it, but not much hope).

It destroyed much of my internet equipment, including the UPS, the surge-protector, and the WIFI interface.  It was an UBIQUITI networks UNIFI interface -- over $200 each, and lots of detailed, slow work to set one up properly.

So I took a gamble, and bought a 'refurbished' TP-Link EAP110 WIFI interface.  It cost $33.99 plus tax, with free shipping and a return policy on Amazon Prime, so I wasn't too afraid to just try it. (A brand-new one is $49.99+tax from Amazon.)

I plugged it in, turned it on, and rebooted my computer.  The darned thing AUTOMATICALLY configured itself to match our network settings.  The only thing I did (for security) was change the username and password, and that was also nearly automatic.

And, it's FASTER than the expensive UNIFI box.  Not higher bandwidth, but much higher throughput.

If you need a new WIFI interface, consider one of these.  They're designed and properly protected for outdoor installation, even though I installed it indoors.  And they're equipped with channel-assignment for European installations.

They are NOT equipped to make transparent point-to-point links (like between our barn and house), but as a direct-access WIFI, I'm highly impressed.


Members Machines / Hah! I think I sold my old Solberga 1425!
« on: June 02, 2020, 16:38:56 pm »
I got an offer (about 18% under what I was asking, but I planned for that) for my old Solberga SE1425 drill press.

I even got paid, although Ebay has put a 'hold' on the payment until delivery is confirmed.

'Should get it ready for shipment either tomorrow or the next day.  We'll see how the 'deal' holds up.


Installation Help / Where can I download 9.8P for windows?
« on: May 29, 2020, 17:16:42 pm »
It seems, since the site upgrade, that all the 0.9.8 msi files have vanished.

I need to install both versions on a new system I'm genning-up.  I must have both versions for some VERY old .cb files that would take me more work than they're worth to get moved to 1.0.

I have the 1.0 most-recent msi, but can't seem to download any 9.8 versions.

Thank you.

Post Processors (*.cbpp) / Paths in Win-10
« on: May 28, 2020, 01:14:20 am »
I was instructing a protege today in generating g-code for a 'special' machine.

It requires a specific post-processor (no problem), but also requires a post-build processor written in VBS.  That lies in the same folder as the post-processors do.

The path to the post-build processor is provided in the post-processor, and it's easy to change to the specific path to his posts.  We did so.

When generating g-code, it properly found the post-build processor, but no matter WHAT we did, the ($ prescribed would NEVER be found by the post-build processor, even though it WAS in the directory specified.  We ran exactly the same code, post and post-build under XP, and it worked fine.

Since I have too-little experience with Win-10, does anyone have a clue what's going on?


Bug Reports / Might be a bug in the website...
« on: April 21, 2020, 23:12:19 pm »
I just got four 'new' posts to read today, and they were all well-over a week old, and I'd already read them, and marked them as 'read'.

Is there something fishy in the new web-soft that's causing this to repeat like this?


Members Machines / New bed router
« on: February 13, 2020, 01:33:48 am »
ALMOST set up.

It's positioned in the bay.  I've opened all the boxes, and checked 'stuff'.  This thing came with TWO height-setters, and even a completely-wireless hand pendant for controlling the machine.

I still have to assemble the chip-vac and pipe it in, hook up all the electronics and check them out, and run a surfacing pass on the waste board to make sure my leveling job is 'just right'.  But it's looking like a LOT of fun!  Heck -- if this new software is all it's touted to be, I might even convert the OLD machine to this new stuff.

Pic attached.


Members Projects / Do you need to cut steel stock?
« on: February 11, 2020, 00:07:57 am »
Today, I had to fabricate two 10' extensions for a forklift (for a delivery tomorrow).

I bought two 10' sections of 3" x 6" steel box beam; wall thickness 0.201".

I needed to taper the ends to ensure they'd go under a pallet more-easily than would a square end.  To do that, I needed to make several cuts about 6" long from the end to the bend point.  I considered torch-cutting it.

But torch-cutting requires a LOT of cleanup before you can re-weld.  I thought about my reciprocating saw.  Too slow, and it would EAT blades.

Then, it occurred to me to try a MALCO 56-tooth, 7-1/4" circular saw blade equipped with C6 carbide teeth.  It was designed to cut nothing thicker than 16-ga. sheet metal; but I gave it a try.

It cut that structural steel like BUTTER!  After 14-odd cuts in that material, it never slowed down!  After finishing, I could feel some slight loss of sharpness, but no visible damage to the blade.


CamBam plus feedback / What happened yesterday?
« on: February 10, 2020, 15:34:15 pm »
I tried to contact you yesterday, and realized that this forum is my only means!

What happened yesterday?  The site seemed to be down most of the day and evening, US times.


Members Projects / Sorry, not _exactly_ machining, but related
« on: February 09, 2020, 03:37:22 am »
As some of you may know, I'm in the business of designing and making mechanical components and designing/testing new pyrotechnic formulae for fireworks companies in the USA.

This evening, a friend of mine, Mr. Jim Widmann of Connecticut launched the WORLD's RECORD largest fireworks shell ever built!  It functioned properly.

It was 62" in diameter, and weighed over 2790 lb.

Jim and I work out tool designs together occasionally.



Members Machines / Wiring anti-corrosion treatment
« on: December 10, 2019, 21:21:06 pm »
I'm doing some HEAVY wiring out in our new vacuum shed.  We need 170-amp service in there for two 20HP table vacuums, and two 2HP chip vacuums.  I bought some Gardner Bender "Ox-Gard" paste (part OX-400), because it was listed for both copper and aluminum.  Because we have VERY high humdity here, any protection is worthwhile.

But... I discovered that the left-over 3/4-tube of old GB oxidation preventer (listed ONLY for aluminum) is the same part number and the same zinc formula.  'Checking around, I found that folks are using it on all wiring now, and Gardner Bender actually recommends it for both metals.

I hope I can save you a little money.  This unopened tube is going back, when I go to the lumber yard to pick up a couple-more grommets and fittings for the breaker box.

On a sad note, I discovered that the electrician who wired this barn used #1 aluminum wire, instead of the requisite THHN 1/0 copper wire I need for 170 amps.  So, I have a full day's worth of pulling old wiring, and pulling new through the pipes!


Members Machines / DRO Pros
« on: December 02, 2019, 22:00:31 pm »
I have a nice DRO Pros dro on my larger lathe, and just LOVE IT.  But today, I wrecked two parts before I discovered the X axis was losing steps.  I have had the unit about eight years, and it's out of warranty by two years. Yeah, they offer a SIX YEAR warranty on their magnetic scale units, and they carry all service parts in-stock, all the time.

I tried to do all the 'right things' trouble-shooting it, and determined to my own satisfaction that the X-axis sensor itself is losing steps when moving.  So I wrote them some support email, explaining what I did, and why I think it's the sensor.

I expected, I guess, that I'd hear back from them within a week.  Instead, I got a response inside of an hour!!!

Not only that, but they confirmed that I had done just what they'd have told me to do on a service call.  The tech explained that because I'd saved them the cost and time for such a call, they'd provide me a new sensor at a discount, and get it out TODAY!

Wow!  What service!  When I need another DRO, I know where I'll be going.


Members Projects / Can't (yet) find the drill I need.
« on: November 21, 2019, 20:57:17 pm »
I need a 0.5" x 118-degree standard 'twist drill' (for metal), short (2.5") would be nice though not absolutely necessary, AND with a 1/8" pilot point at least 0.040" long on its vertical sides.

All I've been able to find in pilot drills offer a FLAT full-diameter face, instead of the 118-degree tip.

Having one (and a source for more) would save me over 40 minutes - by eliminating a MOp - on a job I'll be doing repetitively over the next three years.

Thanks, all.


Members Machines / Oh, my goodness!
« on: November 15, 2019, 02:40:50 am »
I have a new ShopSabre (nominally 4'x8') CNC bed router on the way!  I cannot WAIT! 

The old one has a (minor) breakdown about every three days, and it's costing me work time to get it working again every time.  With the new one here, I can spend some time to convert the old one over to Mach3 and new electronics. 

Then, the old one should be 'as good as new', and I have the power to run two at a time!


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